Dr. Lisa Wilkinson!
Dr. Wilkinson with her daughter and daughter-in-law
Department: Religion and Philosophy
What Gender Studies class(es) are you teaching?: Feminist Theories and Philosophies of Race and Gender
What have you learned/discovered through teaching classes on gender?: I continue to learn how much more smart, aware, and in some ways vulnerable to sexism and genderism students are today, and yet…working with students in classes on Gender always gives me hope that we need not continue to think and act in sexist ways; we can do better.
Why is gender studies important?: Doing gender and being gendered are two of the most significant ways we understand ourselves as human, so unless we take time and energy to understand what gender is and how gender works we do ourselves and others a deep injustice.
We could not be more proud of our very own Dr. Gerise Herndon, Chair of NWU’s Gender Studies Department! Dr. Herndon received a Fulbright Specialist Grant and will be teaching Feminist Theories in India next fall!
Read about her up-coming adventure!
This post is a little belated (sorry, Gender Comm Students!!) but there’s still time for you to go check it out!!
“How is Gender Communicated?” Art Project
The “How is Gender Communicated” art project depicts Gender Communication students’ analyses of texts from advertisements, songs, movies, and television shows, to everyday language use and clothing choices that aim to understand the gendered messages we are surrounded by every day. Students’ art will be displayed this Wednesday (yesterday!) starting at 2:00 through Friday at 2:00 in both the Great Hall and in the Student Center (outside the cafeteria). The project is meant to be attention-catching and to get the campus community thinking/talking about gender in our daily lives. Please note that some of the art contains language that may be offensive to some viewers (potentially offensive art will be mainly confined in the Student Center). The Gender Communication students have done a fabulous job with
these research projects, so please come out to support them! Thanks!
Profession: Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working as a mental health/substance abuse counselor
Favorite Gender Studies memory: I really enjoyed my Feminist Theories class with Dr. Heckman
How has the major/minor helped you in your career?: The transition from Women’s Studies major to Social Worker was a natural one for me. Social justice is a primary focus for some social workers and certainly an underlying concern for most. It is in the Gender Studies program (then Women’s Studies) that I first explored issues of social justice. Additionally, it was in these classes that I was first made aware of the intersection of race, class and gender and the reciprocal relationship between an individual and society. This is similar to what social workers call “person in environment” or “systems theory,” which suggests that there is a reciprocal relationship between an individual and the system with which she interacts (e.g. family, community, society.)
These concepts are important for social workers to understand because they are working to assist individuals and/or change systems. They cannot do this effectively unless they understand issues of race, class and gender and how they intersect. It is important for mental health and substance abuse counselors to understand this as well because they are not working with isolated individuals. For example, an individual’s substance use patterns, from initiation patterns to help-seeking behaviors and treatment retention, are shaped by a number of factors including family, community, culture, race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc. One cannot build rapport with an individual or provide effective treatment if these things are not accounted for. Indeed, the strong correlation between gender, substance use patterns, and help-seeking behaviors has led to a growing number of “gender-specific” treatment programs.
What advice do you have for current students?: Ummm….
1) Learn to write. No matter what you do after college, you’re going to have to write a lot and you’re going to have to know how to communicate well.
2) Be ready to explain your major to people (every time!) because they’re not going to get it.
3) Have a major or minor in addition to Gender Studies because lots of employers don’t know what Gender Studies is. Otherwise go to grad school for social work because they love gender studies students.
Hometown: Lincoln, NE. Grew up in Valparaiso, NE
Major/Minor: Psychology and Gender studies majors
Why did you choose Gender Studies?: Because it is interesting and relevant in any line of work I might enter. I was so happy to know there is scholastic evidence to support to my opinions and beliefs.
What is one of your favorite Gender Studies moments?: Well, I really enjoyed Dr. McClain’s “sexy asshole” rants about Edward when we read Twilight in Masterpieces of Lit: Sexualities. But I also laughed really hard when Lisa (Wilkinson) asked a student whether he remembered having the Oedipus complex. There are too many funny stories to choose a favorite.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned from Gender Studies classes at NWU?: Well, I think what I appreciate most about Gender Studies is that it encompasses a variety of classes and applies to every day situations.So I find it interesting to learn about things that I can apply outside of class.
What are your plans following graduation?: I will be taking a year off to work and pay off some loans and apply to graduate school.
Favorite activity outside of school?: …
Other interesting facts about you: I like reading for fun, as well as watching: The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Parks and Rec, Last Man Standing. I love scary movies. Also love being outside!
Please consider attending Dr. Alice Kang’s lecture, this Friday, April 6th at 3 pm in Callen!
Here’s some info:
“Mobilizing for Women’s Rights in Africa”
Dr. Alice Kang, Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Friday, April 6, 3 p.m., Callen Conference Center
Sponsored by MOSAIC, Global Studies, Gender Studies and Women¹s Commission
Info from Alice’s website:
“Instead of seeing Africa as weak or ungoverned, I am interested in the diverse and dynamic realities under which African women and men seek to improve their lives. I am writing a book manuscript on how and why African governments respond to (competing) religious and women’s demands to safeguard women’s rights.”
This Forum lecture might also be of interest:
Thursday, April 12, 1 p.m. Olin B Lecture Hall
“Carnal Knowledge: The Intersection of Sexuality, Politics and Culture”
JoAnn Wypijewski, former senior editor, The Nation